Even though Scott Doherty is a Yankee, he sure has made an impact in the international world of Irish dance.
The 2009 Men’s World Champion of Irish Dance made his professional debut in 2005 with the North American tour of “Riverdance” before joining Michael Flatley’s “Lord of the Dance.”
“Obviously, ‘Riverdance’ are fantastic shows, but I toured with them long enough that you can kind of tell people want something new, cool and exciting,” said Boston native Doherty, calling from Huntington, W.Va. That’s what led Doherty, along with Celtic rocker Chris Smith, to co-create their own unique production, “Rockin’ Road to Dublin,” which makes its Youngstown debut Sunday at Powers Auditorium.
“The show is basically kind of like a mashup between Irish dancing, Irish music and rock ’n’ roll,” Doherty said. “We were actually performing at Busch Gardens years ago when we talked about what kind of shows we’d like to see, what kind of shows we’d love to create if we ever did anything like that.
“It kind of snowballed into this whole concept of Irish dance meets like a rock ’n’ roll concert. We kept talking about it. And after a year, we realized we had the whole show planned without realizing it. It kind of hit us one day – we had to do it.”
While “Rockin’ Road to Dublin” originated in 2014, it wasn’t until last fall that the production finally hit the road with two singers, 14 dancers and an eight-piece band.
The program includes Celtic tunes such as “Black is the Color [of my True Love’s Hair],” “Road to Errogie,” “Somewhere Only We Know, “John Ryan’s Polka” and “Falling Slowly.” The latter track is from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack “Once.”
Overall, it’s as if “Rockin’ Road to Dublin” is a let-your-hair-down version of “Riverdance.”
“That’s a great way to put it,” Doherty said. “Basically, it has all of the touches of Irish music that everybody always knows and loves, but it’s kind of revamped and updated.
“There’s even a medley that has us dancing to rock songs like Journey’s ‘Anyway You Want it,’ AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black,’ Aerosmith’s ‘Walk This Way’ and The Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley.’”
What, no U2?
“No U2 – not in this version,” Doherty said, laughing. “Maybe in the future.”
The one elephant, or leprechaun, in the room is the fact the upcoming Northeast Ohio “Rockin’ Road to Dublin” show takes place well after St. Patrick’s Day. Doherty doesn’t see a problem.
“I always say the whole month of March is kind of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration,” Doherty said. “So it’s great to be touring during then, and we’re a great excuse for keeping St. Patrick’s Day going.”
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